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Maitre de Flore

Fontainebleau school (fl. second half of 16th century)
Procris and Cephalus
Brush and brown wash, some pen and brown ink, heightened with white, over preliminary indications in black chalk, with slight touches of red chalk
8 5/8 x 12 1/8 inches (219 x 308 mm)
Purchased on the Fellows Fund, with the special assistance of Miss Alice Tully, Miss Julia P. Wightman, and the Thorne Foundation; 1978.34
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Perhaps the finest sheet of the Fontainebleau school in an American collection, the subject of this sheet reflects the arcane themes in vogue at the Valois court during the sixteenth century. Taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the story of Procris and Cephalus recounts how Cephalus accidentally killed his wife with his javelin while hunting. The artist chose to depict the moment that Procris is struck by the fatal instrument, before Cephalus reaches his dying wife.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.